I was walking though the airport in Las Vegas after the IBM Think conference this year when I saw a book with the intriguing title of: Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz.
|Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz|
This book is chock full of interesting observations and studies on human behavior, most of it culled from the massive search history data sets compiled by Google. As a data guy, I am always interested in learning more about what the data actually tells us, instead of what we think is true. And boy, does this book deliver.
If you are at all curious about what big data and analytics can tell us about human behavior, this book offers up study after study that sheds light on that. But make sure you have a strong stomach because a lot of what it has to say is not flattering. The key idea behind the book is right there in the title – everybody lies. But not, perhaps, when they are searching the internet. Why would you lie to Google when you are looking for something? In the privacy of our homes as we seek out nuggets of data that interest us we are more honest than at any other time. There is no one to impress, no one to worry about seeing what we are looking for… and that leads to many enlightening, and frankly, distrubing discoveries.
I won’t spoil any of the studies and conclusions that the book reaches, but suffice it to say, you’ll learn things about humans that might explain some things going on around us these days.
The book is an easy read and I suggest it to anybody interesting in big data, analytics, and social media. If you are a fan of Freakonomics or any of Nate Silver’s books (such as The Signal and the Noise), then you owe it to yourself to read Everybody Lies… I’m sure it will entertain and enlighten you.